08
Mar
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Pixel Kingdom was a Kickstarter game project with a rather unambitious goal of $5000 in funding - a goal it met, with $800 to spare. The game was funded on February 11th, and now, a month later, has launched on Android.

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Pixel Kingdom is deceptively simple, in the best way. I often lament the state of mobile games, but PK is a refreshing effort at not taking oneself too seriously, and instead just focusing on fun. The game has three control actions you can use while playing (select a unit to spawn, pick a lane to spawn it, and boost your mana regeneration rate), and your little soldiers attack and advance all on their own. Pixel Kingdom isn't the first game like this, not by a long shot. But after 15 minutes, I felt like I just took a bite out of a warm, buttered slice of homemade bread - it's so satisfyingly simple. It's so simple that you'll pick up exactly how it works in under a minute. And while It won't win awards for redefining a genre, or breaking new technical ground, or even for ambition, it doesn't matter.

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Let me put it this way, in terms of mobile gaming success stories, there are really two ends of the spectrum: on the left, you have the 'Angry Birds' of the world, which take a unique mechanic and gameplay system that is highly accessible and build oceans of content and tweaks on that platform to create a franchise. On the right are things like Gameloft's ambitious Modern Combat 2, trying to emulate a 'hardcore' gaming experience on a smartphone. The thing is, both ends of the spectrum take themselves so seriously that they either get stuck in a rut (a la Angry Birds) or set lofty goals that simply can't be met (Modern Combat 2).

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Pixel Kingdom is a lot more like Zombieville USA. It's highly repetitive, straightforward, and simple, but unabashedly fun. You could play it for 10 minutes, or 2 hours, and you'll still go back in a few days and do it again, because it's so easy to pick up. And then, after a month or two, you'll probably forget about it - and that's OK. The game is free, IAPs are available (but not at all necessary), and the 14MB download is absolutely worth wasting a little time on.

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • WestIndiesKING

    I like how they did this. Dev wont make a game in vain and gets paid right out of the gate for it so he can develop it and make it free. Hope to see more like this, actually i would like to see the devs who made battleheart do this for an update or battleheart2. Set the goal at what they would expect to make for the game and if the demand is there they make it. If not then so be it.

    • Nicolás Rezzano

      There are a lot of kickstarters bro! Don't think this is the only one... We still lack RIOT, HabitRPG, and maybe more, don't remember

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Didn't Riot just get on Kickstarter?

  • Kernschatten

    You always find the best games. Tried this out and now I'm hooked.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      We have it down to science at this point.

      • Cherokee4Life

        oh my... this might be the best game on Android

  • The_Chlero

    This sound a lot like 3D Dot Game Heroes for the PS3

    • http://twitter.com/mauaus Mauricio Nasser

      NOthing like it

  • Jaime Larios

    Lo amé. Is quite amusing, and I really liked it.

  • gargoyle

    another endless defense game ?
    uhh no thanks.

    no offense to dev, but I can't stand looking to the same background and sprite over & over again.
    I prefer if they make adventure or rpg version of this. that pixel art graphics looks nice tho.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1065971454 Andrew Hime

      Lots of different backgrounds and sprites so far. I'm digging it.

  • primalxconvoy

    Unfortunately, the game doesn't support the Galaxy Note 2 s-pen and neither does it support the "back" button to exit the app at the start. Uninstalled.

    • Jim Crossley

      in this case, what's wrong with your finger?

      • primalxconvoy

        When I play strategy games, especially in landscape mode (which it seemed to force upon me) I like to use my s-pen. Also, regardless of using the pen or not, the back button SHOULD work, yet it does not.

        Those two bugs convinced me not to bother with the app, as most other apps that I use DO allow for both of those features.